Not giving yourself time to decompress? Studies show that appropriately timed breaks can increase productivity and lead to a healthier happier work-life relationship.
Research also shows that the most efficient way to do any office work is a nice 50 on, 20 off system. Our brains (just like our muscles) get tired from constant use. So, by breaking apart work into 50 minute bursts followed by 20 minutes away from the computer, we can refresh our mind and be up to 10% more productive than if we took no breaks at all. Talk about a win-win. Just remember that 20 minutes of Facebook or YouTube do little to actually refresh your mind. Go for a walk, read a book, or do any other relaxing leisurely task as long as it helps break your mind away from work for a bit.
Another thing to take note of is that working overtime will help us accomplish more than normal, up to a point. We’ll be more productive for the first two weeks of overtime, but the benefits rapidly fade after that time period. By the time you’ve spent 2 months working more than 40 hours a week rolls around, you’ll need a serious refresher. You’ll get to a point where you’ll be accomplishing less in your 10-16 hour days than you would have if you were working a regular 8-hour schedule. This means those chronic overtime workers are in desperate need of a planned vacation to get themselves back onto the rails of efficiency (managers & supervisors, take note - give your employees more vacation time).
In fact, taking a vacation every 3 or so months can be beneficial even to those who don’t burn the midnight oil. Taking a few days off to experience some new sights and forget all about work can have a month-long boost on productivity.
Either way, it’s certainly a lot more fun than sticking to a life of year-round monotony. So don’t get conned into overworking yourself out of enthusiasm and take a moment to write down time for you to enjoy yourself in your calendar, your daily planner, or wherever it is you use to organize your life.